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Selling EA and anything else

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

From a LinkedIn discussion about”What we need EA”

JD B. • @Wanderson – In a different forum the question was asked “how do I sell a value proposition?” The answer was “Make a clear distinction between (1) Creating a value proposition, (2) Communicating the value proposition, and (3) Communicating the value proposition plan?
# 1, the actual value proposition, should always include (a) the types of value – monetary, utility/functional, quality, perceptual/psychological – being created and (b) the business and customer perspectives of ‘the value’. McKinsey have a very interesting article on value perception/purchasing reasons in a Q4, 2010 retail survey. In summary, the results were: Utility 40%, monetary 34%, Quality 14.5%, and perceptual 11.5%
#2, A simple approach for #2 is emphasizing Value, Value, and Value, and how the Value will be created.
#3, A workable approach for #3 is When, What, Why, How, Who, and Where.
The point is that if the question had been, as it so often is, about Enterprise Architecture, the answer would be the same. It’s all about freaking value Dude 🙂

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Tracking good one word Enterprise Architecture statements

May 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Current LinkedIn EA Group has asked: In one word, what is the single largest problem facing Enterprise Architecture? Why?

Here are some of the answers I have liked:

Underestimation: With converging technologies today many groups within organizations have a tendency to attempt to maintain control of their systems, reducing communications within different groups to try an maintain their leverage, giving us the inability to get a good overall picture of an organizations true requirements resulting in an underestimated demand for their builds.

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Flexibility, flexibility in terms of fast changing business model in term of fast changing technology, A enterprise architecture needs fast adoption with dynamics of business needs.

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I agree with Ian Cole, but instead of "change" I would use the word "time". Architects of all types do a poor job of architecting the 4th dimension of time. Most architectures are designed for a particular point in time. When circumstances change over time, such architectures degrade and often completely fail.
My two favorite architectural quotes on the importance of time are:
(1) We have tried to demonstrate by these examples that it is almost always incorrect to begin the decomposition of a system into modules on the basis of a flowchart. We propose instead that _one begins with a list of difficult design decisions or design decisions which are likely to change_. Each module is then designed to hide such a decision from the others. Since, in most cases, design decisions transcend time of execution, modules will not correspond to steps in the processing.
David Parnas, "On the Criteria to Be Used in Decomposing Systems into Modules" (1971)
(2) Architects can mature from being artists of space to become artists of time.
Stewart Brand, "How Buildings Learn" (1994)
I am pursuing a line of research called "Panarchitecture", which makes time the primary architectural constraint. See "From Hierarchy to Panarchy: Hybrid Thinking’s Resilient Network of Renewal" at http://bit.ly/e4HjlS
Posted by Nick Gall

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CHANGE —Hi, Paul, thank you for pointing out: tommorrow, here is the EA definition from Gartner: Enterprise architecture means architecting the enterprise for change.
Here is EA’s strategic purpose beyond the tipping point:
–Aligning business and IT vision and strategies
–Deliver strategic business (and IT) value
–Enable a major business transformation effort
–Guiding technology use, support and decisions
–Simplify technology landscape

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Those who didn’t practice "Emergent Architecture" as EA practice are doing past!
1. http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1124112
2. http://www.infoq.com/news/2009/08/Emergent-Architecture

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Tomorrow
I heard an analogy recently that relates for me. People worship firefighters for their bravery and ability to tackle the biggest of fires. They don’t save that much property though but they are viewed as protectors and heroes (and rightly so). No one even notices the sprinkler inspection guy (yes they exist) even though they save way more property than firefighters. Same in business. Those who fix today’s problems are rewarded and valued. Those working to prevent tomorrow’s problems .. not so much.

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